Tuesday, December 18, 2012

5 Ways To Make It Through Right Now

I love this time of year. The lights, the music, the break from routine. But, sometimes I still want to flip off that guy who cuts me off in traffic or eat 95 cookies to fill some empty space.

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We made 10 kinds of cookies this weekend. SICK, I tell ya.

As festive, cheery and fun the holidays are supposed to be – this isn’t always the case. This time of year is really rough for some people – those who are alone, those who are stuck in memories of what could or should have been, those who have experienced tremendous loss and devastation. Sometimes we need to know that it is okay to not feel wholeheartedly happy during this time of year. In fact, what sometimes makes us the most unhappy is that we put pressure on ourselves to be happy. Ironic, isn’t it?

So, I propose to you some ideas for how to get through when you’re just not feeling it:

1.  Slow the f*ck down. Most of us are already up to our eyeballs in busy-ness, then the holidays hit and we  think we have to be super people who home bake our holiday gifts, put the damn elf on the shelf and send out 500 holiday cards. Remember you don’t have to do it all, cut yourself a break and know that you are enough.

Tip: Physically slow yourself down as you go through the day. Stop rushing through every errand and batch of cookies. It makes a difference (except for when you’re trying to do intervals – then you can speed up).

2. Shut up and run . The very moment when you feel so tired, so depressed, so unmotivated to run, bike, swim, do yoga, whatever – is the exact moment when you need to just shut up and do it. Trust me on this one. Physiologically, something happens when we begin to move, when our blood begins to flow faster and our heart rate becomes elevated. The body releases soothing and uplifting chemicals that can have an almost drug-like effect. It’s a FREE and LEGAL high people!!

3.  Accept where you are. Don’t pressure yourself to “feel better” or to be joyful and festive. Muster up what you have and offer that. Trust that you will climb out eventually, but in the meantime, let yourself feel the heaviness. And, be careful about getting sucked into Facebook and Twitter where it is very easy to start sinking deeper in the black hole of “the grass is greener” syndrome.

4.  Find it in the little things. Indulge in the small things that make you happy and don’t feel guilty about it. Spend an extra $5 to get yourself a peppermint mocha. Linger in bed 15 minutes longer. Watch a stupid ass movie on Lifetime.  Go onto Pinterest and find the most ridiculously sinful food item and salivate and go to the grocery store to get the ingredients and make it.

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Dark chocolate and salted caramel topped shortbread – WHAT??

5.  Help someone. It is incredibly easy to get so inwardly focused that we shut out the world. All around you are opportunities to help someone. I know in the couple of weeks after Lucky died, I made it a point to reach out to help – I took dinners to sick friends, I bought Christmas gifts for a baby I’d never met. Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to be there for others.

And, for God’s sake, drink and be merry in case the world ends on Friday.

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Got any tips to get through the holiday doldrums?

SUAR

30 comments:

  1. Great advice, but now all I want is to make that chocolate/caramel shortbread. Yum.

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  2. Christmas cards from the Baha's this year = 0

    Sent you a text to reach out and see if you needed help.

    Pinning all kinds of shit on Pinterest......then forgot I pinned it and not making it. Kinda the same.

    I accept that this is how my life is RIGHT NOW. It'll change that is what life does.

    Slow the f down? Tell my coach that after the TT test today.

    So all in all I follow your rules pretty good don't you say?

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  3. Wise words, its tricky to stay focused and sober during these times. I'm just going to avoid new year by going hiking and camping for a week. No distractions, just rain, cold and my tent..happy days :)

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  4. Love it. Usually I'm totally excited about Christmas but this year I'm just not feeling it. I think it's all the grey weather.
    I DO want to make that chocolate caramel shortbread stuff. Good God, I'm drooling right now.

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  5. Good stuff. I haven't even got my Christmas cards or written my holiday letter yet. And I'm ok with that.

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  6. I had THE BEST run this morning, and I went to work feeling STRONG. That in spite of the very dark and gloomy week we are having. It really does help. This is why I run outside all winter long.

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  7. Thank you! You are a delight to read!

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  8. Love your post. I needed your words of wisdom to slow the F@*CK down and you are so right about the exercise. Why is it that I know how good it makes me feel but yet I still make the choice to stay in my seat this time of year. I swear I'm part bear. And yes the chocolate caramel shortbread looks sooo good. It's time to just Shut up and run. I am signing myself up for the Warrior Dash again this year. :)
    Happy Holidays.

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  9. SO true! I think this country is so caught up in being happy that we forget that it's OK to feel sad.

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  10. Agree 100% with slow it down. My baking list has gotten shorter over the years. I've also found that I can bake early and give away early. Sorta gets the season going, reduces the pressure to do it all the week before Christmas and when you bake early, giving it away early cuts down on the amount I eat.
    Another lesson learned - when your kids hit the middle school age (or whenever you decide), ask them what "traditions" are important to them. We cut the list of must dos dramatically when we all talk about the activities, foods and traditions we really care to continue.

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  11. Great words. I hope to get over this nasty cold so I can drink it up Thursday night... just in case ;)

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  12. It really is all about the little things.

    And I don't know what is going on in that last photo, BUT I WANT MORE OF IT. LOL.

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  13. Really...slowing the f*ck down is key. And realizing that the most important thing in LIFE...not just the holiday season...is sharing your love and good feelings as well as accepting those lovely sentiments shown to YOU :) Holidays are hard for many people. We carry so much baggage and hold onto so many expectations. Endeavor to let these things GO :) Hard, yes. But so worth it!

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  14. "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear!" - Elf I love, love, love Christmas music. Someday I will learn to play it on the piano, but I will sing it acapella until then. That said, I'm in a bit of denial that Christmas is coming. I have not sent a card, bake a single cookie, wrapped a single gift or bought everything. You know what? Who freaking cares! This time next week, it will nearly all be over (save a short gathering with my sis and her family after the new year).

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  15. Amen! Slow down,drink up and don't sweat the small stuff. Be :( when u must knowing that it too shall pass.

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  16. Good post! It's so easy to get caught up and get crazy!

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  17. Awesome post! one year I made a bunch of different kinds of cookies...Sugar cut outs a gingerbread house(Which I will NEVER do again) thumbprints and so on. I had so many cookies hit the trash. The only ones everyone devoured was the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips and Pizzelles. These are the only cookies I have made yearly since 1996. They never go to waste.
    I agree. Giving is a rush that does our psyche good.
    Salute! a good red wine is on my list for 12/21/2012

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  18. Great pointers. For me the secret is to take it easy and not try to do too much. And of course always go for my runs.

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  19. Timely post, but I need five ways to make it through the end of the world...

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  20. Thanks a lot... now I need to go make those salted caramel thingies. I can't resist salted caramel.

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  21. That's a great post and so true at this time of the year. Especially so this year.

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  22. I haven’t really gotten “giddy” about Christmas since I was a child, but I’m having a particularly hard time getting into the spirit this year and it kind of sucks. I still haven’t done my shopping, and I really don’t care if I ever do. I was definitely feeling this one today. Slow Down, Go Run, Accept reality, Cherish small joys, and Share. I’ll see what I can do. Thanks for the reminder. And happy holidays.

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  23. Love your suggestions. I just keep moving through every day. Sometimes I love the holiday and sometimes they suck. I just know that if I keep moving and running, my endorphins will kick in and carry me through to the New Year!

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  24. #5 can't be said enough. Not because I'm some holier-than-thou preacher, but because it's just plain true. The things I do for myself this time of year are nice, but the good feeling is temporary and on-the-surface. The things I do for others make me feel great throughout, for a long time.

    I mean, no one ever says, "That latte I had yesterday... o.m.g... I still feel happy just remembering it." But people do say, "The look on her face! She was so happy when I brought the cookies in for the shelter Christmas party last week. I feel happy just thinking about it."

    For real.

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  25. #2, so felt that last weekend and did it and my day got immediately better!

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  26. this is seriously what I needed. thanks for posting. especially #1. slooooooow down!

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  27. Thank you for posting that picture of you shoving cookies in your mouth. It really made me feel better to know I'm not the only runner out there who can't resist her own Christmas cookies. I feel less guilty about those half dozen I ate...along with some fudge...
    Merry Christmas!

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  28. I ate too many cookies this weekend and watched more than one cheesy Christmas Lifetime movie. Now I have to rush little more to finish the homemade gift that I can't wait to five

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  29. A timely reminder to slow down and smell the pine needles or roses, depending on where you live. There are no roses blooming in Philly this time of year.
    I have vowed to make the holidays special for my son, not for me. But in making special traditions and time with him that would otherwise be spent at work, I find that I enjoy the holidays because he does, and his spirit and smile are infectious.
    As much as I want to hide from the mall, the pressure to outperform last year's fabulous dinner, or dessert or Christmas card photo, I have decided that from year to year, no one really remembers this stuff anyway, our family is more likely to remember the year that someone at the family party got a little too snockered on the egg nog and started mooning other family members. Yes, they are a lively bunch!
    But remembering why we come together is more important, and teaching our kids, grandkids, nieces, nephewsb and neighbors the histories, traditions and beliefs is a far greater gift than any xbox game or stuffed animal. they may not realize it now, but someday they will be thankful that someone shared with them so they can continue it.
    Amy P.
    Have a blessed holiday!
    Thank you.

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